Motivational Personality of the Week- Tony Elumelu


  1. Tony O. Elumelu, born as Anthony Onyemaechi Elumelu, on the 22 March 1963, in Jos, Plateau state, hails from Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta state.
  2. He is a graduate of Ambrose Alli University having a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a master’s degree from the University of Lagos in the same course. He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Programme.
  3. Elumelu with a small group of investors, acquired and turned Standard Trust Bank into a top five player Bank in Nigeria, merging it with the United Bank of Africa Group, a leading financial services institution with operations in several African countries as well as in New York and London.
  4. In 2009, he served on the Presidential Committee of the Global Financial Crisis under President Umaru Musa Yar’adua administration.
  5. He stepped down as the bank’s CEO in 2010 to focus on investing in African businesses through his private investment vehicle, Heirs Holdings, which invests in the financial services, energy, real estate and hospitality, agribusiness and healthcare sectors. He grooms Africa’s next generation of business leaders through his Tony Elumelu Foundation.
  6. In 2011, Heirs Holdings acquired a controlling interest in the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), a publicly quoted conglomerate that has business interests in the agribusiness, energy, and hospitality sectors.
  7. Elumelu serves as an advisor to the USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum. He sits on the Nigerian President’s Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (ATIC). He is also the vice-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN), whose formation he was a key driver in, and serves as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security.
  8. He additionally chairs the Ministerial Committee to establish world-class hospitals and diagnostic centres across Nigeria, at the invitation of the Federal Government and the Presidential Jobs Board, engineered to create 3 million jobs in one year. He also serves as a member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL) and USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa Partners Forum.
  9. In 2012, Elumelu was awarded the prestigious National Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) for his service in promoting private enterprise. He was recognised as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012” by Forbes magazine. In addition, New African magazine featured him in their list of the “100 Most Influential Africans in Business”.
  10. In 2013, he received the Leadership Award in Business and Philanthropy from the Africa-America Institute (AAI) Awards. He was also named African Business Icon at the 2013 African Business Awards.
  11. In 2015, he was named as ESI most influential figures in Africa Power in ESI-Africa, frequently described as “Africa’s power journal”. He was also ranked 31 on the list of Africa’s 50 richest men in 2015.

Elumelu married Awele Vivien Elumelu, a medical doctor, in 1993, and they have seven children together. He has four siblings, one of whom is Ndudi Elumelu, a former member of the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives. He is the cousin of legendary Nigerian reggae artiste, Ras Kimono who died on 10 June 2018.


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